If you watched the meeting online or saw an Associated Press story, you already know that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission today selected Strategic Telemetry to be its mapping consultant.
The AP story only gives bare bones facts but there is much more to understand and put the decision in context than has yet been reported. Yes, the vote was 3-2. Yes, the five commissioners voted the same way on this decision as they did for the legal services contracts.
Remarks made by the two Republican commissioners, Stertz and Freeman, are most noteworthy. Both made it clear that they intend to work with Strategic Telemetry and do not want this vote to be a distraction. In saying that, there can be no doubt they are referring to the public comments that have been made at every AIRC meeting since the vote on the legal services contracts decrying the partisanship of the decision.
Mr. Stertz also indicated that Strategic Telemetry would be closely watched and held accountable for the promise the firm made to conduct a meticulous, transparent process. From the pensive looks and thoughtful comments, it was clear that all five commissioners took today's decision very seriously and intend to settle into the work at hand in a professional and diligent, yet collegial manner.
AIRC Chair Colleen Coyle Mathis read a statement she had written reflecting on the gravity of today's decision. I expect to get a copy of those remarks tonight and will post them as soon as possible.